Military records search at National Archives

There are so many reasons to search for military records, but one of the main ones is to stay in compliance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Bankers, lenders, landlords, property managers and others must follow the tenets of this law or risk fines or imprisonment.

The SCRA is a United States federal law that provides certain protections for military servicemembers. For instance, if you want to bring a lawsuit against a client or tenant for nonpayment and the defendant is in the active duty military, you must get a court order first. Failure to do so is a violation of the SCRA.

How to Get Military Service Information

But how do you know which of your clients or tenants is in the military? The answer is that you must search for military records for each one of them in order to be certain. And you must check these service records periodically, in case they enter or leave military service during the time you are doing business with them.

Large banks and lenders often do military status checks every month to stay in compliance with the SCRA. Other business owners may not need to do such frequent checks; they may need to only run checks when they take a court action.

Bankers and lenders, however, are required to lower the interest rate on loans to 6% for active duty military members, according to the provisions of the SCRA. So for this reason, they must check their clients’ military status frequently and offer the lower rate to those in active duty military service.

Searching Military Records at National Archives

While it is possible to search military record information on your own, the process is neither quick nor easy. Some people start with the United States National Personnel Records Center, which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration. (Sometimes this is erroneously known as the National Records Personnel Center.)

Unfortunately, with the personnel records center at National Archives, the search subject must be separated from the military for at least 62 years before the public is allowed access to their military personnel records. This means that currently, only information about military records from 1958 and earlier is available from this governmental body.

How to Access Records

Archives records are helpful if you need information about veterans of World War I or World War II, but this is not very useful for business people, property managers and lenders who need to access service records right away.

In fact, when you look at the National Archives website, it talks a lot about helping with genealogy searches and “muster” records from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Mexican War more than either world war. Thus, the National Archives is more helpful to historians than those looking for current or recent military service records.

Rely on the SCRACVS for Military Records

When you need information about military records quickly, it is best to depend on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service. We use the Department of Defense as our source, and we get the military records information you need for your court case to you right away, usually within 24 hours of your request.

Searching military records on your own could take days, weeks or even months, and you may, in fact, never get a response from the government regarding your query.

Not only do we get you the service records you need quickly, but we also offer batch discounts to businesses that need large quantities of military record checks on a regular basis.

Affidavits Available

Further, we also offer affidavits for you to take to court with you. These are useful for a variety of purposes, including proving that you have done your due diligence in searching military records even if your search came up empty.

Not all courts require an affidavit; it is best to check with your local court ahead of time. If you do not need an affidavit, you can use the documentation we send to you with the search results included. We send these encrypted, as they usually contain Social Security numbers, so safety is a priority.

How to Use SCRACVS

All you need to do to take advantage of our service is sign up for an account. It’s free, and there’s no obligation. You only pay for the searches you order. Whenever you need a search completed, all you need to do is log into your account and submit the information. You’ll get the results back usually in 24 hours.

Doing regular checks is the best way to stay in compliance with the SCRA. If a servicemember brings a complaint against you, or a lawyer on behalf of the servicemember, you may have to defend yourself in court. On some occasions, for particularly grievous offenses, the Justice Department will file suit on behalf of one or more servicemembers. Some of these cases have resulted in fines and restitution into the tens of millions of dollars.

So stay safe, stay in compliance and use the SCRACVS for all your military status verifications.

Roy L. Kaufmann

Attorney Roy Kaufmann serves as the Director of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service, located in Washington, D.C. As a recognized authority on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Mr. Kaufmann has published hundreds of articles and hosted many webinars. His teachings help law firms and businesses to remain compliant with the SCRA rules and regulations so as to avoid costly fines.